44. Editorial Note

On January 29, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the Senate Committee on Armed Services, sitting jointly to consider President Eisenhower’s proposals for the Middle East (Senate Joint Resolution 19), adopted by a vote of 30 to 0 a resolution which requested the Department of State to “provide a chronological statement, together with classified and unclassified supporting documents, telegrams, and the like, of all the events that have contributed significantly to the present situation in the Middle East, with particular reference to the period beginning January 1946.” The resolution also affirmed that “the committees desire such information as soon as possible, but they will not delay action on S.J. Res. 19 pending receipt of such information. The Committee on Foreign Relations will undertake to provide suitable storage for classified material and access to such material will be restricted to the members and staff of the two committees. Matter furnished to the committees will be returned to the executive branch within a reasonable time.” Senator Theodore Green conveyed the text of the resolution to Secretary Dulles in a letter on January 29. (Department of State, Central Files, 114.2/1–2957; the text of the resolution is printed in the Congressional Record, volume 103, part 11, page 14702; see also Executive Sessions of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Together with Joint Sessions with the Senate Armed Services Committee (Historical Series), Volume IX, Eighty-Fifth Congress, First Session, 1957 (Washington, 1979), pages 101–127). In order to provide a point of contact with the Department of State on this matter, a subcommittee consisting of Senators Fulbright (chairman), Mansfield, Wiley, Knowland, Byrd, and Saltonstall was appointed.

Pursuant to this request, the Department of State assigned its Historical Division the task of reviewing what Secretary Dulles estimated would involve several hundred thousand documents. (Transcript of Secretary Dulles’ press conference of February 5; Department of State Bulletin, February 25, 1957, page 300) On April 12, Deputy Under Secretary Murphy transmitted to Senator Fulbright the first installment—a chronological statement with supporting documents concerning United States policy and the Aswan High Dam, which Fulbright’s subcommittee had asked be given priority. (Letter from Murphy to Fulbright, April 12; Department of State, Central Files, 874.2614/4–1257)

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During the next 4 months, the Department of State forwarded to the subcommittee in a series of installments additional documentation dealing with the Aswan High Dam and chronological statements with supporting documents covering United States policy in the Middle East for the years 1946–1948. (Documentation concerning the response to the Senate request is in the project folder for Office of the Historian Research Project 396.) Finally on July 30, the special subcommittee met and decided to abandon its inquiry. Afterward, Ful-bright told the press that the decision to discontinue had been made in view of the size of the task, and the fact that events since adoption of the Eisenhower Doctrine had made many of the questions obsolete. (Reported in the Washington Post, July 31, 1957)

The chronological statements with supporting documents sent to the subcommittee for 1946, 1947, 1948, as well as an unsent chronological statement for 1949 (Office of the Historian Research Projects 397, 398, and 399; Lot 79 D 251) are at the National Archives and Records Administration, Civil Reference Branch. The collection on the Aswan Dam (Research Project 396) is in Department of State, PA/HO Files: Lot 89 D 263.